The liberal part of the blogosphere has been doing its part for some important Democratic candidates, most notably Bill McBride and now Tom Strickland. I'd like to implore people to consider giving the same kind of support - even if it's only a link - to Ron Kirk, the Democratic candidate for Senate from Texas. Here's an email I got from my good friend Matt, who just attended a Kirk fundraiser:
First, the pitch - I'm writing to ask you to donate money to Ron Kirk's campaign to become US Senator from Texas.
Ron is the popular two-term mayor of Dallas [he resigned to run for Senate] and has served as Texas' Secretary of State. He is running for the open seat left by the retirement of Phil Gramm - the seat that has been held by a Republican since LBJ became Vice President. Ron built a bipartisan consensus in Dallas that has gained him many supporters across the political spectrum.
Next, the story - I met Ron in person last night at a fundraiser and was extremely impressed. I talked to him for maybe ten minutes, and he seems like a really kind, decent person who shares my values and position on the issues, and is someone I would be proud to have represent me in the Senate. He's a left-leaning consensus-building moderate Democrat, which is why he can get elected in Texas and will be a very effective Senator.
I'm tired of having to hang my head when I talk about Texas' elected representatives, and decided for once I'd do something about it. Many of you live in Texas or spent significant time here - perhaps you will feel the same way. The rest of you will hopefully see this as a historic chance to affect our nation's future.
Some important points to remember:
* Ron is within sight of a win. Some polls show him 3-6 points ahead, some a bit behind. It's probably neck and neck, which is why donations are so crucial right now.
* There may not be a better time for many years to get involved. With no incumbent, and control of the Senate up for grabs, you can make a real difference. Imagine the laws (and judges) that we'll see if the White House and Congress are both controlled by the Republicans.
* A loss in George Bush's home state would be a big blow, so the national Republican Party has committed to spend whatever it takes - perhaps $20 million or more in soft money.
* The huge blitz of negative ads running against Ron right now, paid for by Republican soft money, hasn't affected the polls, and has raised Ron's name awareness. He can win as long as there's enough money to keep the positive ads going for the next four weeks.
* Ron's opponent, John Cornyn, has pledged to bring "strong conservative values" to Washington, and is running mostly on being a friend of George Bush. If he wins, expect more of what we got from Phil Gramm.
* Ron was the first black mayor of Dallas and would be the first African-American Senator elected from the South (and the third overall) since Reconstruction. He is sure to become one of the leading voices in America as Senator from Texas.
I've not been very politically active in my life, but I really feel that now is the time. This is the best year in over a decade in Texas for Democrats - Tony Sanchez for Governor, John Sharp (former Comptroller) for Lt. Governor, Kirk Watson (former mayor of Austin) for Attorney General, all of whom deserve your support, but Ron Kirk can make a huge difference on the national stage for a long time.
US citizens and permanent residents may donate up to $1,000 to a candidate for Senate. If you want to donate more, you can send any amount to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which will spend it in Texas if you ask.
I've personally given more money to candidates this time around than in my whole life up to this year. If you care about who represents you, perhaps you will too. The next four weeks will be crucial, so if want to donate, do it today - please.
You can donate quickly and easily with a credit card online, or if you prefer, by mail:
Feel free to forward this message as you see fit.
Texas Monthly: Mr. Happy Man Goes to Washington
[a good read to see what's he's like - matches my experience]
Ron Kirk's great chance (Washington Post Writer's Group)
African-American members of Congress since 1870 (only 4 Senators)